Beyond the Cusp

June 22, 2014

Israel Must Take Definitive, Unequivocal Stand Against Any Further Terrorist Releases

There once was a time when Israel drew a strong, definitive, well-defined line that her leaders refused to cross and her people had enforced refusals to negotiate with terrorists and to never under any circumstance release terrorists for any reason, even to presumably save kidnapped or captured Israelis no matter who they may have been. Eventually, after much erosive pressures Israel caved and made the initial exchange of a terrorist for a hostage. This was a shocking new turn from the nation which would, against all the odds, manage to pull off the most miraculous rescue operation in which her special operations forces from the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) infiltrated the Entebbe International Airport in Uganda on 4 July 1976. Israel daringly loaded one-hundred commandos over two-thousand-five-hundred miles (four-thousand kilometers) to rescue the one-hundred and two hostages held by a Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist cell. These were the remaining Jewish passengers plus the pilot, Captain Michel Bacos, who refused to leave while any of his passengers remained endangered from the original three-hundred and four passengers and twelve crew members of Air France Flight 139, an Airbus A300, on route to Paris, France. The Israeli rescue mission cost the IDF one officer from among the personnel deployed for the mission, Lieutenant Colonel Yonatan Netanyahu, brother to current Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu. The rescue mission has been immortalized in film and well documented and studied as one of the most daring and successful anti-terror rescue missions ever attempted, let alone carried out. This was the measure of Israeli principles and determination when it came to negotiating with terrorists.


Unfortunately, the Entebbe mission actually was executed after Israel had already compromised on their stated rule of no negotiations, no prisoner swaps, and reliance on the IDF and Mossad to prevent or rescue any hostages. The definitive act occurred as a response to the hijacking by the PFLP, the same terrorist group responsible for the later Entebbe hijacking which proved that one successful hijacking releasing terrorists would lead to further such hijackings, of an El-Al flight from Rome to Tel Aviv on July 22, 1968. The plane was diverted to Algiers where all but the seven crew members and five Israeli male passengers were released almost immediately after landing. After forty days of negotiations Israel backed down releasing sixteen convicted Arab terrorists in exchange for the hostages. The slippery slope continued eventually leading to the most disastrous of negotiations with terrorists with the Oslo Accords in September of 1993 which promised that Israel would allow the return of Yasser Arafat and his top echelon of terrorists and Israel would attempt to negotiate the formation of an Arab state for the invented Palestinian people to be formed from within the then existing borders of Israel. This led directly to the disengagement from which birthed Hamas controlled terror entity within Gaza and later to the exchange of over one-thousand terrorist prisoners for the return of a single soldier, Gilad Shalit. Israel now faces the next installment of her emasculation where three teenage youths have been abducted and Israel is searching in hope against hope to find them alive and well before they can be whisked away and hidden beyond any reasonable reach of Israeli forces.


With the precedent having been set and the trending reached such an absurd level that no Israeli Prime Minister can, without the near complete support of the Knesset and a willing media to give cover, take the now near impossibly difficult path of refusing to meet the demands of terrorist hijackers or kidnappers. Directly due to the collapse before political pressures from the “Free Gilad Shalit at any Price” campaign which took the form of demonstrations as well as an all in sympathetic media further supported by Knesset Ministers using the strong public protesters as a backdrop to politically attack the Prime Minister, all converging to permit the release of over one-thousand terrorist prisoners for the sole IDF soldier, any attempt by a future Prime Minister to refuse to negotiate or release any untold numbers of terror prisoners is guaranteed to spell political ruin and an end to that ruling coalition and very possibly a complete defeat and possible collapse of the party lead by said Prime Minister. With this in mind, one has to realize that the recent claim by Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haneya who called for the release of all Palestinian terror prisoners from Israeli prisons is not seen as excessive by the Palestinians or much of the world. There have been calls from Hamas controlled television stations for the kidnapping of six additional IDF soldiers so as to gain the release of six-thousand terror prisoners in Israeli custody. Palestinian media has already explored the concept of gaining the release of at the least three-thousand terrorists in exchange for the three young teens kidnapped last Thursday. These threats are additional reasons that the roadblocks and checkpoints are necessary in order to prevent the movement of the kidnapped youths, Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel, thus allowing for the IDF and other units to locate and rescue the young students and prevent the government and nation of Israel once again being held to ransom their children’s safe return.


Israel is going to need to take some time once this current crisis has been resolved even if it must be done in the manner of already set prerogatives. Then the Knesset will necessarily need to address what will be the path proceeding forward from this point. The first decision is whether or not the people of Israel deem it a necessity to support those Jews and Israelis living beyond the Green Line and if not should they be required to relocate within the Green Line allowing for the return of the disputed lands to Arab control. The next decision is similar to the first except this time the lands addressed are those of East Jerusalem including the Old City, Temple Mount, Kotel and Western Wall. Once the Israelis have voted and reached a collective decision, then the Israeli people need to address whether or not to allow any government elected official or appointed official to decide to trade terrorist prisoners for abducted Israeli civilian lives and on another front IDF soldiers who have been captured during operations or kidnapped by terrorist forces or their state supporters. Once these decisions have been voted upon and decided, the results would need to be incorporated into the Basic Laws so that the will of the people can be enacted and enforced and thus made binding on future governments such that there will be no ambiguity. The pieces of truth that Israelis must contend with and recognize is that no matter their choice in these referendums, the Palestinian terrorist government and forces will continue to abduct Israelis, they will continue to attempt to terrorize and murder Israelis, their view of a perfect world is one which is completely Muslim and without a single Jew anywhere, the terrorist entities will test Israeli resolve and exploit any weaknesses they find, the world will never ever support the Israelis, and finally the only recourse Israelis have today are the same choices their forefathers faced throughout the history of Judaism and these choices will continue to be the ones perplexing Jews into the future. Unfortunately, all too many people and too many Jews refuse to learn anything from history. Even sadder is how many believe that history has nothing to teach us because we today are more evolved, more sophisticated, more intelligent and just generally more capable of coping and finding new ways of doing things, which is why everything we read in the newspapers reads so similar to items we could have read and learned about in those old and dusty history books. As the famous sayings by poet and philosopher George Santayana go, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” and “Only the dead have seen the end of war.”


Beyond the Cusp


May 13, 2014

So Parts of the Ukraine Held an Election, Didn’t They?

This past Sunday there were referendums held in the Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region on whether the republic should declare itself an autonomous region as an initial step towards seeking annexation into Russia. The initial indications are that the vote is trending towards autonomy and independence from Kiev with some reports claiming 89% favoring “self-rule.” Needless to report, but the Ukrainian government in Kiev announced before the voting even began that they would not accept the outcome due to suspecting that the vote may not be a valid representation of the citizens’ honest preferences. This was backed even further by a series of polling done a few weeks back. The  Pew Research Center poll from a few weeks back tallied 70% of eastern Ukraine opposing splitting from Ukraine, while only 18% favoring secession. A poll is already scheduled to be taken next week to vote on whether or not to request to come under Russian rule. The fact that the second vote was announced not only before the results of the referendum on secession were announced, but before the voting places had even opened leaves one to doubt the veracity of the current vote, and needless to say, the next vote might be suspect as well. Oh, maybe we should mention the claim that the turnout to vote was announced to be an impressive 75% of those eligible to vote. That is a truly unimaginable accomplishment as there is still a fairly high amount of residual violence still being perpetrated by both sides which should have made expected turnout somewhat more sparse than three-quarters of the population. Usually when there is an insurrection revolting against government forces who are trying to restore the rule of law and of the national government, most prudent and intelligent people do not venture out even to vote in a referendum being sponsored by the insurgents and opposed by the ruling government, especially when both sides are well armed and shooting has been more the rule than the exception. There are far more reasons against a high turnout at the polls and it definitely does not rouse any rational belief when the majority of pictures depict either red, white and blue Russian flags, red and blue Donetsk Republic flags and virtually no blue and gold Ukrainian flags as well as a very nice picture captioned by Reuters saying, “Armed pro-Russian casts vote.”


The most interesting item is most definitely not that European Union and United States spokespeople have joined with the Ukrainian government in Kiev in denouncing and calling into question the results and honesty of the referendum, but that Russian President Vladimir Putin called for the referendum to be cancelled or at least postponed. The idea is probably to have Vlad the Invader denounce holding the referendum at this time thus washing his hands of the whole issue giving him the deniability to claim he opposed the referendum while those tasked to bring about the secession and request for annexation by Russia carrying on just as planned by the Russian leadership. I realize any reference to a Russian leader making nefarious plans to compromise the Ukraine smells suspiciously of recalling Russian Dictator Joseph Stalin, and I really wouldn’t want to make any comparisons between Vladimir Putin and Joseph Stalin as that would appear to be overreaching to make slurs against President Putin. But that would also beg the question as to whether Vladimir Putin would even be displeased over being held to compare with Joseph Stalin or feel honored by such a comparison. Would such a comparison be any much worse than calling Putin Vlad the Invader and all of what that implies from a similarly nom de guerre of a Vlad who ruled in Romania. And as long as we are making slanted comparisons, my reaction to the 75% reported turnout at the polls and the 89% in favor of secession bring to memory the actual Stalin quote on elections which goes, “You know, comrades that I think in regard to this: I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this — who will count the votes, and how.” Please, is it just me or does Vladimir Putin remind one of a cross between Joseph Stalin and Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, nom de guerre Vlad the Impaler.


Beyond the Cusp


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